Vaselka is a Ukrainian restaurant that has made it onto all the breakfast lists around the net. It is said to showcase Ukrainian culinary know-how. Celebrating their sixtieth anniversary, I decided to have breakfast at Vaselka and check out what Ukrainian cuisine is all about.
The restaurant is big and well lit, decorated with traditional ornaments and set around an open kitchen. A chandelier separates the entrance from the dining area, a fridge displaying cakes and pies, bar stools, bottles displayed on the wall....
American favorites and local dishes, and the breakfast choices are endless. It is open 24/7. The smell of frying oil overwhelms the place.
I'm not sure they eat like this in Ukraine because the restaurant has an American diner feel to it... the plates are oily, the portions are huge. I didn't feel that it reflects Eastern European culture.
- Poppy bread to start, a cake with enjoyable poppy seeds but unfortunately dry. It should be more moist or served with jam on the side.
- Let's start with the egg sandwich with Ukrainian sausage: dry toast, dry scrambled eggs and half a sausage. It needs some sauce to make it juicy.
- The crepe, a traditional one called Blintzes. Yellow, not sweet and not overwhelmed by vanilla, with lightly sweetened farm cheese, powdered sugar and raspberry sauce on the side.
- The pancakes looked great but I wish they tasted great as well. Blueberry pancake, very thick and fluffy but close to tasteless, unless you add maple syrup. I didn't feel the richness of the blueberry or the need to have another bite.
- Average food until now so I ordered a grilled cheese sandwich. Lightly buttered brown bread grilled to perfection and stuffed with melted cheese, bacon and tomatoes. I loved the bread, butter, the melted cheddar and the hot tomato but the bacon was too hard and should have been crispier.
It is on all the recommended lists for the experience but surely not the food. I was not impressed and I won't be recommending it to my friends visiting New York City.